Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Plot: The Amazing Spider-Man is the story of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), an outcast high schooler who was abandoned by his parents as a boy, leaving him to be raised by his Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen) and Aunt May (Sally Field). Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.


What we thought: Don’t believe the marketing!! This is the same old boring origin story all over again. Watch Peter Parker get bitten! Watch him discover his spider-powers! Watch him use them on the school bully before taking them to the street to fight crime. The Amazing Spider-man 2012 is essentially a bigger budgeted, better acted, grossly extended remake of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. But the characters are just so boring.. going thru the motions. Watching the movie in IMAX, we found the film might have had a great sense of cinematic power, but little responsibility in making it interesting. They just relied too much on special effects.

Andrew Garfield is of course a better Parker than good ole Tobes Maguire ever was, because, whilst he’s the gangly, kid who always gets beaten up, he is slightly more convincing fighting his inner demons, than the previous guy. To me, he is also better looking to watch.. ahem;) But his relationship with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) develops incredulously fast, and all of a sudden you see she’s throwing herself at him, and just so interested in this nerd from school. How did we cross over the line from indifferent to crazy-stupid-love? Parker, is supposed to be the social outcast who loves and pines for the gorgeous Gwen. In this show, it seems the other way round.

Also, how does a high school kid (Gwen) become one of the interns in a high tech biochemical facility, assistant to Dr. Curt Connors, a scientist working for mega-conglomerate Oscorp? That’s just bizarre. Then it takes a long, tedious ride till Spiderman discovers himself and his superhero abilities to spin webs etc etc. And if you thought the wait for the Spidey suit was something, it’s even longer before The Lizard shows up, and when he does, he simply follows the straight Raimi lineage of a sympathetic but boring mad scientist who destroys cities yet deep down isn’t all that bad.

Well, all in all, it really is TOO BAD, because the cast is excellent, so it’s a shame they’re wasted on these cold leftovers. Martin Sheen has a warm grandfatherly appeal, and Field is such a nice grandma you just want to hug her. Denis Leary is also very cool as Gwen’s protective cop father, and Rhys Ifans tries hard with the little his character is given to work with.

Yes, well, (500) Days of Summer’s Marc Webb nails the teen angst but still, this is a lukewarm film we totally did not need. Of course this sort of finish suggests a sequel that we hope will be better. But no, life is cruel and if you stay till the credits you will see that the next installment will see Spidey dealing with a foe Raimi already more-than-adequately covered. So it seems, the recycling will continue. Oh kill me now.

Watch the Trailer:


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